The memorandum was signed by Pavli Zeri, Secretary of State at this ministry, and the envoy of Franz Vranitzky to Albania, ambassador Herbert Grubmayer.
The memorandum ensures a necessary status for the presence of this organisation in Albania to prepare and monitor the elections all over the Albanian territory, creating normal working conditions for the long and short term observers of this organisation.
The memorandum decides to create an OSCE presence in Albania in cooperation with the Albanian authorities and secure the coordinating framework in which other international organisations like the CE, will offer advices and aid in such fields as democratisation, press and human rights as well as preparation and monitoring of elections.
Besides this, the OSCE will exploit other possibilities for monitoring the collection of weapons.
The memorandum stipulates that the OSCE personnel in Albania respects the laws of the country and does not run contrary to the OSCE mandate.
This personnel will exercise activity all over the Albanian territory. Its centre will be in Tirana, but it may also open offices in other areas, a thin which will be decided by this organisation in cooperation with the Albanian government.
The memorandum stipulates that the Albanian government takes all measures to fully secure the OSCE personnel as well as the OSCE environments and logistic equipment.
The memorandum comes into force at the moment of signing and will have legal power during the whole OSCE presence in Albania. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/
The President said to the farmers of Ndroq, commune which divides the city of Tirana from that of Durres, that "DP's absolute priority for the coming years will be the restitution of order and peace throughout Albania, the realisation of a plan of emergency to reconstruct soon all what has been ruined by the communist rebellion, and the exemption from the taxes of the Albanian peasants for the coming two years."
The electoral campaign for the June 29 polls was considered by Berisha "as a campaign which needs the commitment and contribution of all so that it be a free and civilized campaign."
"The 29th of June will be the day when all Albanians will vote for our future, proving that rebellion was a storm of the communist past of Albania," and that "Albanians will know to give the proper response to all those who organized the rebellion and who thought that through rebellion they might come to power violently."
Berisha called on the farmers of the commune of Ndroq "to express on June 29 the belief in ourselves, in our achievements and dignity attained during the past five years in freedom and democracy."
The events of the recent months," said Berisha, "had as a pretext the failure of the pyramid investment schemes, but their real cause was the pathological hatred of Albanian former communists for the free vote, for our freedom and property." "The communists," said Berisha, "organized the violence and rebellion but their aims failed later to divide the country, in the civil conflict, in their advent to power through violence.
On this occasion, Albanian President appealed to all those whose faith in the Denmocratic Party has been shaken by the communist rebellion, to join this party, because any disbelief towards the DP is a disbelief towards yourself, towards the democratic aspirations of each one of us, towards the property, the farm and the perspective of Albania."
Berisha voiced the conviction that "the national conciliation is and must be a constant line of Albanian democrats to make the Albanian democracy stronger, more developed, to make Albania a country with an advanced democracy." ake/xh
Mr Arbnori briefed the German parliamentarians of the situation created in Albania during the past months as a result of the coup d'etat that the extreme forces tried to realise.
"In the course of the political way towards a solution to the situation, we constructed the agreement between the political parties and later we agreed to take part in the National Reconciliation Government. Our aim was to avoid the civil war that the extremists and their rebels' committees were planning to realise."
Further on, Arbnori voiced his optimism that the political forces will know how to reason for the sake of the interests which are above the parties, to realise free, correct and democratic elections in all Albania, as the last chance to overcome the chaos.
"We declare since now that despite the poll outcome, we will respect the electorate's verdict."
Arbnori explained to the German guests some details related with the electoral law and brought arguments for the indispensability of the law on the state of emergency. He stressed that the law has been amended, ensuring for the political parties all the conditions for a free political activity. He underlined that DP has proposed a social pact, which has not been realised for many reasons. "Nano and Fino, he said, may go to the north of the country at any time, but for every democrat it is impossible to conduct a political activity in the conditions of the terror of the committees of Vlore, Tepelene or elsewhere."
The German parliamentarians expressed their consideration for the chief parliamentarian, Arbnori and stressed that the interest of all is the realisation of a free and correct electoral process, so that democracy in Albania further develops its values.
"Our interest," they said, "is to by neutral towards political actors in Albania and to contribute to the preparations for a correctelectoral process." ake/xh
The victim, in a bid to protect his car (a robber was trying to steal its type), was shot several times by fire weapons, eye witnesses confess.
This is the first murder that has occurred in the town, after several days of relative tranquility, without such events.
The registered murders in recent months in the town of Vlore, especially after March, reach a record number, some 300 people, also including the victims of Otranto, while the number of the injured is more than 600.
Anyhow, the second figure does not correspond to the reality, because most of the injured in the recent events have not gone to hospital for identification reasons, meanwhile that sources of the hospital report a number of some 150 injured people, who have left the hospital without giving their identity, after being treated. /a.ke/eva/mt/
VLORE, MAY 30 (ATA) - Volley of bullets on an Italian helicopter, which attempted to land in the military base of Aviation in the town of Vlore. Its noise was enough for the armed groups of people to go out on the streets and shoot it by fire weapons./mt
The Council of Europe delegation, headed by Verona Taylor, Dr. Klarisa Deval and Rudiger Teushne, stressed that a plan of emergency aid is prepared, as well as middle and long term plans for the education system and to appeal near this high body for a normal conduct of teaching process in Albania. /eva/mt/k
In the meeting with the U.S. State Secretary, Madeleine Albright, Premier Fino spoke of the progress of the election process in Albania, and the efforts of the government to lift the state of emergency. Fino considered the state of emergency as "opposition against a free and transparent election process".
The chief of the U.S. diplomacy reconfirmed the support of USA in the engagement of the government to overcome the hindrances and conduct free, democratic and incontestable elections. She restressed the support of USA and international community for their monitoring and the importance of the political solution for the future of the country.
Premier Fino familiarized the rotating chairman of the European Union, the Dutch minister, Van Mierlo, with the efforts of the government to lift the state of emergency "as an element in opposition to the pact of social peace", which he said he had proposed it to the political forces for a civilized election campaign.
Fino considered the juridical existence of this law "an abusive element in the transparency of elections". Fino considered the realization of conditions for the non contest of voting results by the participating parties, a duty of priority of the international community and Government of National Reconciliation. During this meeting they also discussed problems regarding the intensive monitoring of elections.
Fino expressed to the Dutch Foreign Minister his personal support and of the Government of National Reconciliation for Dr. Vranitzky and his mission in Albania. He asked coordination of the efforts of OSCE, EU and Council of Europe for the preparation and intensive monitoring of elections, for the role of Multinational Forces in securing the mission of the international bodies and protection of polling stations. "This is the only way for the Albanians to trust in the administration of their future", said Fino.
Van Mierlo expressed the engagement for the problems that were presented and in response to the invitation of Premier Fino, said that he would do all the bests to come to Albania before the elections of June 29.
The Danish Defence Minister, Hans Hekkerup, who went to Hague from Tirana, said to Fino that he knew the situation in Albania quite well, and Denmark, which holds the OSCE rotating presidency, feels responsible on the success of OSCE mission for the conduct of free and democratic elections in Albania. The Danish Minister expressed the opinion that it would be necessary to enlarge and prolong the mandate of the Multinational Forces, to contribute in a more complete way in and after the election process in Albania.
Fino also met with the Italian Premier, Prodi and Foreign Minister Dini. Both Premiers will meet again during the visit of Prodi in Albania.
In the meeting with his Dutch counterpart, Van Kok, Premier Fino exchanged opinion on the situation in Albania and the aid that the European Union will give to Albania for the preparation and monitoring of elections and economic restoration of the country.
The Albanian Premier and the delegation he heads, also met with the Turkish President Demirel, in the residence of the Turkish Ambassador in Hague.
President Demirel said that Turkey is ready to offer all-round aid to Albania, and stressed the importance of stability in Albania for the stability in the region. "Turkey does not have any political preference for the forces participant in the elections. She wants cooperation with any Albanian government, which is voted by the Albanian people in a free and democratic way. Albania needs now a strong and democratic state, for the prosperity of the Albanian people and peace in the region", stressed Demirel.
During his stay in Hague, Fino also had meetings and talks with the President of the European Commission Jacques Santer, President of Poland A. Kvanshnjevski, Bulgarian President Stojanov, the deputy Premier of Great Britain, John Prescot, Premier of Norway, Jagland, state secretary in the Spanish Foreign Ministry, Ramon De Miguel, deputy Minister of Greece Jorgo Papandreu, President of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov. Gligorov invited Premier Fino to meet and talk in Skopje. /pas/mt/k
During the first juridical sitting, held on May 26, Kola accused as guilty the publishers of the photo, who have taken it without her approval from the film "Colonel Bunker", where she had a role.
The Friday sitting will be held with open doors and journalists will be allowed to take photos, which were forbidden by a court decision during the first sitting, reports Republika paper today.
The process has drawn the attention of media for the fact that if the publishers are found guilty, they will pay Kola 8000 USD. /eva/mt/k
Zeri i Popullit under the title "Tanks against the government?", the paper reports "The people expect concrete actions against the gangs and criminals, without being afraid of where do they hide, or who is behind them." The paper publishes the news of Nano's departure in Italy, in the head of SP delegation, invited by PDS. The paper carries an interview with the Minister of Finances, Arben Malaj, under the title "The will of President for the transparency of pyramids has lacked". The paper covers the electoral meetings of SP in Korce and Fushe-Kruje.
Republika reports: "Attempt on president's life in his bedroom", regarding the attempt on the president of Silva Company, Pjllumb Shehaj. The paper carries the editorial: "The vote for the United Right - vote for the coming out of crisis". Among the economic articles we mention: "'The death of the fiscal system has exploded the Albanian lek".
Rilindja reports: "The Central Commission of Elections starts to work". The paper also reports "Firm request to make official Tetovo University". Rilindja carries the article "Monarchy is in the tradition of Albania".
Albania reports: "Nano (SP chairman) has used narcotics in prison". According to the news conference of the Albanian United Right the paper reports referring to its leaders "We will win 99 per cent of votes". Covering the meeting of President Berisha with inhabitants of Ndroq, the paper reports: "The re-establishement of order as a priority". Under the headline "Vlora asks the lift of state of emergency", the paper carries the article "Committees meet the request of SP".
Koha Jone reports: "Fino with Clinton, Berisha in Ndroq". The paper carries the editorial: "The Albanian 'Marshall', behind the corner", referring the probability of a Marshall plan for Eastern Europe. "Attempt on Silva's boss at 'Europa' (hotel)".
Regarding the devaluation of lek, Tribuna reports: "Lek sinks, IMF accuses Malaj (Minister of Finances)". The paper carries an interview with the Minister of Justice Spartak Ngjela, under the title "The personality of the individual can't exist without the Court's personality".
"How will the bulls of politics bump", reports Dita paper according to the candidates for the parliamentary elections of June 29. Regarding the visit of Nano to Italy, the paper says that he will meet with Prodi and d'Alema. "Shots on Silva's boss", reports the paper on the attempt against Shehaj. The paper covers the news conference of the Minister of Culture, Engjell Ndocaj.
The Independent reports: "Secret document from Vlorj. This way NIS (National Information Service) used to spy the opposition". The paper reports on its the editorial "Otranto, the endless horror".
Gazeta Shqiptare reports "Elections, Europe 'cut off' the bread", adding that the wheat promised by the European Union will arrive after June 29 (the elections day). The paper says: "The Socialist Party gives constituencies to its smaller allies". /kei/mt/E
It was last midnight when an Italian helicopter from Brindizi arrived in the airspace of Vlore with the aim of taking a 14 year old girl who was wounded yesterday, for medical treatment in Italy.
The helicopter tried to land in the airfiled but the extraordinary firce fire of arms could not allow it to carry out its mission. It was a gunfire by various kinds of arms including machine guns of 12.7 mm, which put at stake even the lives of the crew which was then forced to return to Brindizi.
Taking the Italian helicopter as one of the Albanian forces hundreds of armed people tried by all manner of means to prevent it from landing. Moreover, according to sources close to Italian troops deployed in Vlore, heavy artillery shots might have hit the helicopter in its lower part, something not yet confirmed.
In relation to this event, the commander of the Italian contingent in Vlore, General Girolamo Gilio said today that the event was extraordinary. "Such intesive gunfire, about 40 bullets per square meter, is rather high," he said. This act makes that humanitarian missions of such nature be questioned in the future. The life of those who come to help the Albanians cannot be in put in danger, therefore he said, they would think well before undertaking such acts in the future. "Our mission is to assist the Vlore people and we respect this objective."
Two days ago General Gilio said that he would expand the patrolling of the multinational troops in the city of Vlore, which was also seen these days when armoured vehicles patrolled during the day and night in the city streets more frequently than before, but the event with the helicopter also puts doubt on such undertakings in the future. xh/sh/
Fino expressed the National Reconciliation Government's appreciation of the assistance provided by the human rights organisations, including Norwegian and Albanian Helsinki committees, and its predisposition to strengthen cooperation with them, especially during the current electoral campaign.
Responding to the interest shown by the Norwegian interlocutors, he spoke of the performance in strengthening the public order, of the concrete measures and proposals of the Government to lift the state of emergency, to improve work in the RTV, so that its activity responses to the spirit of national reconciliation and other issues.
He underlined the need of reinterpreting the mandate of the Multinational Force, because, by securing and protecting the foreign observers, they also help enhance trust in the free vote. Fino expressed regret at the OSCE experts being prevented from going to Gjirokaster to carry out their mission, underlining that the persons responsible have nothing to do with any political force.
He reconfirmed the government's commitment to enable an acceptable and normal electoral climate in cooperation with the political forces.
Engesland appreciated the views and steps of the National Reconciliation Government in all the aforesaid directions. He expressed his commitment and of the institution he runs to help Albania to successfully hold free and fair elections, the spokesman of the Prime Minister says in conclusion. s.sh/kled/lm
Disha's indictment has to do with Malaj's decision to dismiss him from his job.
"Not based on the law", is what Disha's lawyer has considered Malaj's decision at today's preparatory sitting. The lawyer said that there was a decision of previous Finance Minister Bode which said that with the expiration of the mandate of the INSIG director general, the supervising council had renamed Qemal Disha to this post until this institution turned into a company.
Disha's lawyer demanded that the administrative order of Finance Minister Arben Malaj be cancelled.
Malaj's lawyer considered Disha's dismissal from the post simply "an internal organisation", as the order issued by Malaj on May 23,1997 says that "INSIG's director is transferred to the disposal of the Finance Ministry". jz/lm/Z
The 75 names were selected today out of some 350 candidatures proposed by various DP structures and after selections at the respective commission of the branch. They are figures of culture and science, DP activists.
The candidatures for deputies for 19 constituencies of the capital and of the whole country will be defined at the meeting of the National Council, which is thought to convene next week. a.ke/jz/lm/sh/
Also attending were the chief of the Army General Staff Adem Copani and General Hysen Repa, commander of the Shkoder division. Lieutenant-colonel Alonso said that "we are celebrating the engineers' festival in Albania in the context of a peaceful honest mission which will mark a turning point in the history of the Spanish troops, by renovating the peace pact.
Defence Ministry High ranking officers along with Spanish forces officers laid wreaths of flowers in commemoration of the fallen in the battles for freedom and homeland.
In commemoration of this day a Mass was said by Father Francisko Kobos and Marco Alberto.
Painter Pashk Pervathi opened a painting exhibition in the environments of the rest house. A five-year-old child from Shengjin presented Alonso with a bouquet of flowers and a drawing of Albania and Spanish flags on the occasion of his 52nd anniversary. kled/lm/sh/
The situation in Prishtine is rather tense. Numerous police forces dispersed by using truncheons thousands of citizens whoattempted to gather in front of the Serbian court. bj/xh/sh/
Two days ago uncontrolled fire injured a taxi driver and another citizen, who had stopped on the road leading to this town's port. s.sh/eva/lm/z
The damages consist mainly in chancellery means, as the whole documentation had long since been transferred to other premises.
Police commissariat sources say they are working to identify the authors of the theft. a.ke/jz/lm/sh/
According to the press office close to the PM, Mr Fino briefed the German parlimentarians of the efforts and commitment of the government for the realisation of the June 20 poll. Fino defined them as an indispensable political solution to overcome the crisis and to create the conditions for a control on the macro-economic situation and the economic and institutional recovery of the country.
Fino explained that Albanian electorate and the political forces are experiencing a profound crisis of belief for a transparent electoral process and precisely for this reason, the Albanian Government in close cooperation with the international community and particularly with OSCE, CE and EU, must guarantee the conditions for free and democratic elections.
Mr Brecht, expressing his pleasure for the meeting, said that the realisation of the parliamentary elections in the conditions of a general pact of social peace is an essential element for free elections and their incontestible outcome. He explained that during the meeting that the German parliamentary delegation had made, it had not noticed a climate of political reconcilition and that disbelief seems to have taken deep roots in the Albanian political class.
Mr Fino told the German delegation of his appeal to the political forces for a calm electoral campaign and dignified competition of the political alternatives throughout the country. He explained that the government and the political forces have responsibility in finding the ways for a civilized electoral campaign.
In this context, he spoke of the efforts of the government to lift the law on the state of emergency, which in fact continues to exist.
"The personalities whom I had the chance to meet in Rome and the Hague said openly they could not understand the existence of the law on the state of emergency and the claims for a free and democratic campaign. This law is only a potential abusive element for the campaign before, during and after the elections.
In reply to the concern of the German parliamentarians for the commmittees in the South and a possible campaign by all the political forces throughout the country, Mr Fino declared that the elections will be organized and realised in all the country only by the local government and that the government is committed to conduct them from the North to the South, without political excesses," said Mr Fino.
Berisha, Arbnori, Nano and Fino are all Albanians and Albania is theirs from the South to the North. With the force of law, the police will hit the criminal gangs wherever they are acting.
Further on, Mr Fino said that he was going to ask the ministers of his government not to see the political interests of their parties during the electoral campaign, but the realisation of the mission of the National Reconciliation Government with patriotic responsibility to realise its mandate, to solve the local crisis properly and with a lowest possible cost.
"I appreciate," continued Fino, "the support of the international community for the government I direct as a support and interest for the fates of Albania and its future and not at all as a personal merit."/ake/xh/sh
"There were causes that made parliament impose the state of emergency. Hence, these causes should be eliminated for the state of emergency to be lifted. These causes have so far been eliminated, except the so-called salvation committees in the country's south," Arbnori said.
The left opposition parties in Albania, followed by some other party have demanded an end to the state of emergency, as according to them the political parties cannot hold a normal electoral campaign and that the elections cannot be free and fair.
These parties have said that in case the state of emergency is not lifted, they would not take part in the June 29 parliamentary elections.
"Those who make ultimatum demands for lifting the state of emergency should first disband the committees," Arbnori said, adding that "currently the state of emergency has remained for some minimum points".
The Democratic Party, at a meeting with the parties participating in the government of national reconciliation, proposed several other changes, which could also be made by order of the operation commander of the state of emergency. kled/lm/Z
"As presented by the letter of Mr Vranitzky to Albania, OSCE will assist with material basis for the elections, but since June 29 is the date of elections, the models for the ballots and the boxes must be presented to us as soon as possible," told ATA the spokesman of the OSCE office in Tirane, Joeff Murray.
During the latest events especially in Southern prefectures, all the material basis for the elections such as polling boxes, and other things have been lost, moreover even town halls in communes and prefectures have been set to fire, something which would create numerous hindrances in the electoral process.
Murray explained that the observers that were returned yesterday in Tepelene have not been of the OSCE but Monitors of the European Committee, and said that OSCE hoped it would not experience such an act, but if it happens "OSCE will react energetically." KLED/xh/Z
"For me it has been a fight for power. The socialists pulled out of the voting when the result had not yet come out and this was presented throughout Europe as a falsification of elections.
The disaster following the collapse of pyramids was exploited for political aims and against the state.
There were also calls to storm municipalities or police stations. To my opinion under this situation it was inevitable to hold, perhaps not since that moment, of new elections," he says.
Asked what he thought of the statements of several parties to boycott the elections he responded:
"I do not know whether this is only an argument to keep alive the election campaign or a fabrication of a cause to say the elections were illegal. I think this is not finally decided in the SP, either. I have heard various opinions regarding this argument. I very much hope that the SP understands that here it is no more a question of election tactic, but of existence because if the result of the elections is not accepted by all the parties, then the European states will withdraw.
Asked whether the dissolution of the south committees, commented as the armed wing of the SP, is important before the elections, Roschenbach said: Everything possible should be done to avoid exercise of power by an illegal force, if they still exercise power. Besides other things, one does not know for sure that in these areas where the committees exercise power, the elections will be held normally," the German parliamentarian says in conclusion. jz/lm/Z
The strikers ask continuation of works to recover the bodies of their relatives.
The strike is being staged by 14 people, who are also supported by the Italian association "The Centre of the youth".
On May 28, several Italian associations protested in support of the hunger strike of the Otranto Tragedy survivers.
"The Italian government only promises", head of the strike Krenar Xhavara says, according to a report of the chairman of the " Atdheu" association, Lukan Xhagjika.
The Albanian ship sank on March 28 in the Otranto channel, after collision with the Italian corvette "Sibila". kled/lm/sh/
Additionally, a meeting was held in the Foreign Ministry with representatives of the Italian Embassy in Tirana. The Albanian side expressed concern about the fate of Albanian strikers, survivors of the tragedy in the Otranto Strait two months ago, who are demanding the recovery of the bodies of their drowned family members and relatives. The Italian party was told that if this serious problem was not solved in time this would have consequences for the people who have lost their family members and who are presently staging a hunger strike. ake/xh/sh/
The chairman of the association of the formerly politically prosecuted, Kurt Kola, considered the visit of Leka Zogu a landmark. He called on those present to vote for the referendum for monarchy on June 29.
Leka Zogu expressed his regret over the sufferings and persecutions of the politically persecuted over the 50 years of communist dictatorship. He expressed the conviction that after June 29 their demands would be considered with priority./jz/lm/sh/
In his speech Starova expressed thanks for the support of the international community for the efforts to overcome the crisis in Albania.
He thanked, especially the European Union, the U.S., Turkey, Romania and other friendly countries of Albania, OSCE and its current presidency holder and Mr Vranitzky for their assistance.
He also referred to the conference of Donors held in Rome on May 26, in which a programme for the economic recovery of Albania after elections was presented.
The Foreign Minister expressed profound gratitude for the swift dispatch to Albania of the Multinational Protection Force, which is successfully cooperating with Albanian central and local authorities.
During this two-day meeting Foreign Minister Starova met and talked with his counterparts, participants in the meeting. He also took part in the working breakfast the U.S,. secretary of State Madeleine Albright extended in honour of the ministers. a.ke/jz/lm/Z
Eight families have been so far threatened.
This group is not yet identified. a.ke/jz/lm/Z
"One cause for their closure is low production and lack of demands for using coals in industry as fuel raw material", Ilir Gjergji, specialist at the Mineral and Energy Industry says. s.sh/eva/lm/Z
"The essence of this social grouping is the stand against armed violence and any other violence. We believe that the idea for such a pact is important for the normalization of the situation in Albania," said in a meeting held in the Palace of Congresses the Secretary General of the Democratic Party, Genc Pollo.
The conclusion of the meeting was that the state of emergency must continue and the law on the state of emergency must be strictly observed until the committees in the south, which prevent the normal conduct of the elections, are dissolved.
Pollo considered the union of these parties and associations "as a very important moment in the efforts to prevent the restitution of communism in Albania and for the continuatiion of the reforms of the market economy and Albania's integration into Europe."
The meeting also approved a declaration which denounced the communist rebellion against democracy and the national interests and expressed the all-sided support for the Union for Democracy during the electoral campaign, for which the meeting decided that a coordinating commission must be formed as well.
"The so-called salvation committees must not be tolerated. History has known such committess but they have acted and have really been for salvation. The ones operating at present cannot be such, because they would not have allowed the rebellion and torching in their cities. They must be condemned by all political forces," said the chairman of the United Veterans' Organization.
The participants in the meeting called on all parrties to sign that social pact and asked the Prime Minister Fino to dissolve as soon as possible the rebels' committees according to the Agreement of the 10 political parties reached on May 9, 1997.
The chairman of the Movement of Legality party, member of the Union for Democracy, Guri Durollari, after expressing his thanks for the possibility of holding a people's referendum on the form of the regime in Albania, said that "we are grateful to the political leaders who accepted this and DP which was the first to propose that Leka I come to Albania."
"Albania is the first Balkan state which holds a people's referendum on the form of the regime," he said.
Regarding the stand of this grouping towards other parties and associations, the declaration said that this organiztion will be open for every party and association with similar political visions both in the center and grass-roots.
The Union for Democracy decided to conduct, time and again, meetings to coordinate the work for the electoral campaign, for the elections and after the ballot. xh